Perth will host Australia’s first Festival of Love and Dementia

The two-week festival includes an exhibition featuring photographs of people with dementia kissing someone they love, a series of narrative based presentations by people with dementia and their families and art based workshops

LoveFest is curated by Dr Catherine Barrett, Curator of the Museum of Love – which develops, collects and displays items documenting the importance of love in the lives of people with dementia.

The Museum was established by Barrett in 2017 to tackle the problem of social isolation experienced by people with dementia. Barrett was struck by Dementia Australia research showing that what people with dementia want after diagnosis is more human connection and support to help them do what they were doing before diagnosis. But, Barrett says the research also shows that what they get – is less contact. The stigma related to dementia results in friends and some family withdrawing.

Barrett says:

The limited focus on the ‘diseased brain’ can mean losing sight of the human experience of living with dementia. LoveFest shifts the focus from brain to heart and humanness. By focusing on love we are recognising people with dementia as fellow human beings.

LoveFest Perth will bring together service providers to learn from local people with dementia and their families – about the importance of human connection, the challenges experienced and strategies to address these. It will inspire, hearten and resource those who attend.

LoveFest is being bought to Perth by GRAI, Alzheimer’s WA and the City of Melville in partnership with The Care Side, Hall and Prior Health and Aged Care Group and Garden City Shopping Centre

The exhibition will be launched on 2nd May and the presentations and workshops will take place on 3rd May.

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